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Exiting the System with Garry Tonon

Exiting the System with Garry Tonon



I will try to contain my excitement through the progression of this piece, but I can’t help but be a little giddy about his upcoming instructional with “The Lion Killer” Garry Tonon. I think many of us have been waiting for years to get an inside look at Tonon’s game. He’s one of the most exciting grapplers to ever grace the mat and one of the most thrilling aspects of his game, is his ability to escape positions that most of us would consider unfavorable. Lets also be honest, Tonon is performing these miracles at the highest levels of competition, so there’s something special here that we all need to take stock of. 

I remember seeing Tonon escape an armbar during a match with Kron Gracie at ADCC several years back. This was one of my first experiences watching Tonon compete and I was utterly blown away. The way he was able to cycle through all the different tiers of escape and finally evade the submission was just jaw dropping. Several years later, I’ve had the opportunity to attend several seminars with Tonon and I’ve followed his career closely. Tonon is an unbelievably talented instructor whose attention to detail is unlike anyone else I’ve ever experienced. 

Tonon has turned his focus to MMA over the past couple of years, and boasts a very impressive undefeated record thus far. Taking a break from the cage to compete in this years ADCC, we were again treated to an amazing display of Tonon’s unique abilities during several of his matches at the Olympics of our sport. Tonon’s athleticism, technique, and gas tank were on point, and he provided some of those most memorable moments in ADCC history. 

With Tonon set to release his newest instructional entitled “Exiting the System”, we’ll no doubt be in for some of the greatest instruction out there, dealing with one of the most underrated themes in BJJ, the art of the escape. Let’s check out a quick sample of what’s to come, shall we? Here, Tonon walks us through an outside heel hook defense. I can hardly wait! Check this out!


One of the biggest threats in the form of lower body submissions is the outside heel hook. This is where Tonon begins his instruction. Specifically, when a double outside ashi garami position has been achieved. This is a great place to finish the submission from and it must be addressed quickly. 

While you wait for Exiting The System why not Enter The System? Click Learn More!


Tonon takes a step by step approach here to each individual problem and begins by identifying to different points of connection, one near his hips, with his partner’s feet and another at his foot where the lock on his heel has been acquired. Tonon turns his attention first to his partners hands first, identifying this lock as the most immediate danger. Tonon creates a closed loop through his partners lock and break the grip to disrupt the integrity of the heel hook. Controlling one wrist, Tonon then slips his heel free from his partners now one-armed grip on the heel. Tonon’s second foot can also assist with these efforts from the opposite side if necessary. 

With his feet now both momentarily out of danger, Tonon still needs to be mindful here. As his partner continues to reacquire the heel, Tonon can now transition his back leg over the top and begin to use a pushing and pulling effect to keep his feet safe. 

Now, its very unlike Tonon to just escape and be on his way. At the end of any great defensive play, Tonon is known for coming right back with even more solid offense. 

With his feet clear, Tonon begins to roll through as a distraction and during this roll, he begins to separate his partner’s feet, exposing an inside heel hook. As he completes this roll, he’s acquired the heel and transitioning his legs to a 50/50 configuration or an inside sangaku entanglement of his partner’s lower half. 

With the stage set, Tonon now only needs to position himself over the toes and begin rotating around the knee for a solid finish. Phenomenal. 

This is something that I’m certain many of us have been very impatiently waiting for. Tonon’s game is so incredibly well rounded, that I’m sure even contained in an instructional based around escapes and counters, that we will find an entire treasure chest of exciting details and information. This is going to be a very important installment to your growing instructional library. It may already be available by the time you’ve read this breakdown! 

Closed Guard: BJJ Fundamentals - Go Further Faster by John Danaher
John Danaher continues to revolutionize Jiu-Jitsu. Danaher refines the details like no other, and you can see his influence throughout Jiu-Jitsu. Get ready to Go Further Faster With John Danher’s latest installment dedicated to the Closed Guard!



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